Clean sheets, pictures to remind you of home, a space of your own –
all things that emphasize the inherent value of human life. This is what
German prisons look like, and it’s not because the country is “weak
conditions in German prisons are designed to foster an environment that values human dignity. When
a high value is placed on human dignity, their reasoning goes, German
prisoners are more likely to improve and, upon release, never return to
their old lifestyle. Their focus on rehabilitation translates into a much
smaller prison population than the U.S. – about one-tenth the size
– and lower recidivism rates.
Correctional officers are also, arguably, better in Germany than they are
in the U.S. More stringent standards contribute to this, and has translated
into fewer altercations between inmates and staff.
A belief is starting to emerge from the shadows of the fringe into the
light of the popular majority that American prisons and the criminal justice
system as a whole perpetuate a cycle of crime (especially among poor and
minority populations) and has needlessly bloated our prison system.
Maybe it’s time to turn from retribution and turn toward rehabilitation.
“Human dignity shall be inviolable.”
Germany’s Constitution reads “Human dignity shall be inviolable”
– a creed we would do well to borrow from and build upon. There
is little doubt anymore that our criminal justice system is in need of
reform. Koffel Brininger Nesbitt shares this belief and uses the principle
of inherent human dignity to guide our representation of the criminally
accused. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, we invite
you to contact us today to discuss your rights, your options, and your future.